Do Apple just make up there "Great customer service" image?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by JAWWC, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. JAWWC macrumors regular

    Jun 1, 2008
    I have now had 3 Mac's all with bad customer service and am getting very annoyed at them! first of all I had a white MacBook, I had it a while and was fine. But when a update to the OS came out it crashed the system and I had to re-install Tiger! Apple's customer service said they couldn't help me without Apple Care! It was there bloody update!

    2nd I had a Mac Mini which I got and stopped working within 2 weeks. Sent it of for repair and it came back broken still, had to be sent back and forth 5 times until working and they refused to replace it before then!

    Lastly I just got a MacBook unibody as a gift 2 days before they became MacBook Pros :-( I rang them up and they said to bring it in and they can switch it, but because it was bought on a finance agreement the buyer would have to be there, I said thats fine I'll come up at the weekend. Drove 1 hour 45 to the nearest Apple store and everything seemed fine.... until they came out of the back with the manager. He said the banks are closed on weekends and finance agreements cannot be cancelled!! After about 20 minutes of arguing I was convinced they were not going to help me.
    I wouldn't have had a problem if they'd have said they couldn't return it at all on the phone, I mean, why should they? But they said they would and I drove right up there and they couldn't!

    Has anyone else had really bad experiences with apple?
    And how would I go about complaining?
  2. travisjacques macrumors member

    May 12, 2009
    That's too bad, i personally have not had to use apple customer service much over my 3 years of ownership but the time or two that i did have to it was fine.

    Best way to complain is a simple email, a buddy of mine complained about an ipod he had purchases (2nd gen.) it broke a few times and they ended up sending him a 25% off card thing, which he used on the UMB 2.4.

    And since your new MB was a gift, i would be super stoked anyhow. I know the new MBPs have all the new features but the computer you have is a very nice machine, and think of it this way. In 3 years when you go to replace it you can get a new laptop that supports like 16g ram, a terabyte hard drive, and a tablet screen. ^^ Enjoy your new toy.
  3. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    IMO, our favorite fruity computer maker is going through growing pains. They've got a loyal customer base that is well educated and expects a lot from their premium (priced) machines, OS, and programs. They're dealing with unprecedented growth, dealing with new models and upgrades at (for them) a breakneck pace, and outsourcing manufacturing of their new designs to the other side of the planet.

    They're also expanding their retail presence, and hiring more people than they ever had before.

    And, let's face it, Apple has the corporate mentality of North Korea. Secretive, fanatical top down leadership, and unnwilling to admit fault or accept opinions other than their own. Most of us accept this because they're usually right a fair majority of the time.

    There will occasionally be problems, even with the best organizations. Tough luck, bro.
  4. adamfishercox macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2007
    I've never had a problem, thankfully, but I have heard some bad stories.
  5. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    With any organization you'll get good and bad experiences. That doesn't make the bad ones and better, and you've been really unlucky, but there's good out there too.
  6. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    Search the forums, although it's biased. More recently more users have posted their great experiences with Apple; but most threads on here are about bad experiences, because people like to complain.

    It's unfortunate that you have had these bad experiences, my suggestion would be to call Apple and speak with a rep, they are usually great or you could always email Steve.

    Apple really does have pretty good customer service, especially for being a massive computer company.

    I've had nothing but good experiences with Apple.
  7. the2j macrumors member


    Oct 24, 2008
    Davis, CA
    sorry to hear that

    apple has always been more than fair with me when it comes to their customer service
  8. Scippy macrumors regular

    Jan 12, 2009
    Its really a matter of who you get.
    I personally have had good customer service, but a friend of mine has had terrible.
  9. k3v1nc macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2009
    On my 4th Mac, never had a problem with either the machines or customer service. Never had Applecare until my most recent MBP purchase.

    I think part of having a good Apple experience is doing research on forums and websites like these before making a purchase, and when having problems. I would have not bought any Apple product with a WWDC Keynote around the corner.
  10. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    The service really depends on who you're talking to. Some employers are ready to help and keep customer happy and sacrifice their own time for that but others just says no for everything. Remember that there's some rules that Apple has set for employers so they can't help although they would like to
  11. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
  12. InvalidUserID macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2008
    Palo Alto, CA
    I personally have never received anything other than great customer service when I've gone into an Apple store, either just browsing or with a problem. Are there bad service reps? I'm sure there are. Perhaps you got unlucky with people having bad days, it happens. A company can train their employees all they want but when it comes down to it, the person controls their actions.

    As with any company where you have a bad experience, ask to speak with a supervisor/manager and express your displeasure. I wouldn't go off like "This jerk didn't want to help me or this mf that" or you come off looking like an @$$ and the manager will think "well no wonder my guy didn't want to help you".

    Corporation (good ones, at least) know that customers who complain are looking for a resolution and can still be appeased while customers who don't complain are the ones who are more likely to never come back. If you speak up, you'll likely have a better outcome than if you don't.
  13. dasmb macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2007
    Your first case makes perfect sense -- nobody does desktop support out of contract, and if you want extended support you better be prepared to pay for it. Besides, it wasn't "their update" that caused the problem -- since reinstallation worked, you obviously installed something that didn't jive with the update.

    The second, not so much. They are reticent to replace a whole machine, but I've been told they have a "three strikes" rule. Of course, if those 5 round trips weren't all for the same issue, you wouldn't trip this rule.

    Your third case involves two third parties and thus isn't proof of Apple's customer service -- other than that complex legal cases such as "somebody else signed a contract with another company that I want to change" probably aren't best posed to a sales support engineer. If they were going to let you upgrade without a restocking fee, I'm surprised -- they actually were going out of their way for you.

    I've had to deal with Apple customer service a LOT over the past 10 years...three iPhone repairs, six laptop repairs and myriad iPod troubles. I've found them to be, on average, very knowledgable, willing to believe you and very responsive. Repairs tend to go out the same day, come back in less than 5 days and they call you immediately when there's an issue or something to report.

    I haven't found them to be perfect engineers. It's happened three or four times that something's gone out for repair and come back still broken. These are usually weird issues on new machine designs (intermittent power trouble on my first gen intel mac; they eventually replaced everything but the hard drive and display). In the last case, the issue turned out to be my fault (bad third party ram) and they fixed it anyway. The first time I ever dealt with them, it was on a refurb machine that crashed on install. Then, they replaced the logic board with the wrong processor. I finally got a clean machine a week later, which lasted 5 years before I ebayed it and I assume it's still going strong.

    I'd say about half of my machines have had issues over their lives, and they've all been refurbs or major new models (first gen iphone, first gen ipod 3g, first gen intel MBP, etc). Picking from "old stock" has done me very well -- that white MacBook line is especially impressive in terms of quality, I've bought 5 for family with no issues reported. The quality of components and support increases dramatically in the first year of a new model (track the support for the iphone, you'll see what I mean...from $50 for a loaner while they turn around your phone to free immediate swap outs in a couple of months).

    You do occasionally get a guy who's less than helpful, or somebody who makes a suggestion that's not perfect. And yes, as you've noticed if you make unreasonable demands they rarely meet them. They're especially guarded against refunds and upgrades, since hardware is where they make their money. But in general, they're willing to work with you and if you display some knowledge of the machine they engage you at that level. From that respect, at the very least, they are better than every other consumer electronics company.

Share This Page